For many of us, the daily routine of life can at times become repetitive, monotonous and joyless, leaving some of us feeling a little down in the dumps. I’ve been there before many times myself and if I’ve learnt one thing, its that happiness and positivity comes from within- and half price Häagen-Dazs ice cream- but mainly from within. So if you’ve found yourself stuck in a rut of negativity lately, here’s a few things Ive learnt on how to adopt a more positive outlook on life:
Focus on your goals, future plans and your capabilities
Instead of reminiscing about the past- both good or bad- focus on the present and the future. What are your goals and ambitions and how can you start working your way to achieving them, today? Maybe it’s a job role you want, a country you’d like to visit or maybe you just want to lose a few pounds. Whatever it is, write it down and stick it up somewhere you’ll see it every day, even if you only glance over at it first thing in the morning. Starting your day off by reminding yourself of all the things you can and will achieve will keep your mind focused and in a happy place all day long. And remember, the only thing holding you back from achieving your goals is you. So if you want something badly enough, you’ll sure as hell make it happen. That being said, life is not a race and we often forget to enjoy the here and now. So take things at a pace that suits you, focusing more on the things you currently have to be grateful for as opposed to the things you don’t.
Rid your life of negativity
A negative mind-set attracts negative people even if it does so sub-consciously. So, take a look around at the company you keep- wether they be friends, family or a partner- and think about the way they make you feel. The positive people in your life should leave you feeling loved, valued and content and will encourage you to be happy. If they don’t, then it’s time to get your Miley Cyrus foam finger out and wave goodbye to the haterssss. This may be difficult at first but in the long-run it will leave you feeling a million times happier. Along with the company you keep, the environment you place yourself in can also encourage negative thinking. Have a de-clutter of your home or work space (within reason, obviously). Throw out all the junk you never use, the clothes you never wear or that really graphic and cringey love letter you wrote to your ex. Unnecessary junk, particular if it harbours negative attachments or feelings is a no no. Finally if you’re a drinker or a smoker try to cut down if you can’t give up all together, these are all natural depressants.
Exercise, diet and sleep
For most of us mere mortals, the thought of exercise doesn’t exactly leave us feeling all chirpy and bright-eyed, ready to go for a 10k military run at 6 in the morning. However, exercise doesn’t have to be painful or tedious, a simple 30-45 minute walk around a nice clear open space such as the countryside, will do wonders for your mental and physical health. Making this a part of your regular weekly routine will be even better. We all know that exercise releases the bodies natural ‘happy’ endorphins, giving you that big burst of energy and ‘feel good sass’ that can keep you feeling good all day. A healthy diet and a good amount of sleep are important too but it doesn’t need to be a complete lifestyle overhaul. Just try upping your veggie intake and cutting down on the mass-produced, man-made crap and your body will thank you for it. That being said, don’t deprive yourself of something if you really want it, otherwise you’ll end up back on that cycle of negativity. Life is all about balance, I would know, I can balance 5 chocolate creme eggs in each hand.
Smile and be positive to others
Positivity is catchy, it’s hard not to smile when you see others smiling, unless you OD’d on the botox. Make it a part of your daily routine to reinforce positivity not just in yourself but in others too. Compliment your friends, encourage your family and throw out any negative conversation, focusing only on the good things. The sooner you start sharing positivity amongst others, the sooner you it will begin to naturally dwell within you. I may sound like a hippy yoga instructor but try it for a week and I guarantee you will notice a difference in your own mind-set.
Is the world really going to end if you don’t get that job or lose those 5 pounds? No. Will worrying about failure so much bring the early on-set of a heart attack? Quite possibly, yes. Chill. The only person putting an unreasonable amount of pressure on you is you. The only way you really fail is if you don’t learn from your mistakes, so pick yourself up and try again. Life is one big lesson so if something didn’t work out, don’t worry about it. Something better will come your way soon and this time, you’ll be more prepared and knowledgeable to make it work.
And remember: its okay to feel bad sometimes, because to quote R.E.M ‘everybody hurttttttttts sommmmetimessss’. Don’t feel guilty or angry with yourself if you start to slip into a negative thinking pattern at times, it’s a natural part of being human. But learning to pick yourself up and refusing to give up will get you to where you want to be in life, I promise.